A month after a mass anti-government protests over the corruption allegations involving Albanian deputy Prime Minister at that time, Ilir Meta, the parliament lifted his immunity Wednesday paving the way for the investigation.
Meta, who leads the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) which is part of the governing coalition, resigned last month after the video showing him asking the then economy minister Dritan Prifti to favor one company over others bidding for a hydro-electricity plant was shown on the television.
According to the local media, the footage in question, filmed in March 2010, was taped by Prifti himself, who joined the opposition after being fired over corruption allegations.
Meanwhile, the Reuters reported the Albanian prosecutors are requesting Prifti’s immunity to be lifted as well over another video retrieved from Prifti’s laptop which shows him and Meta splitting some 70,000 Euros.
The corruption scandal provoked the mass anti-government rally in the Albanian capital Tirana last month. The protestors demanded the resignation of Prime Minister’s government, and called for new elections. As the demonstrations escalated in violent clashes between the police and the protestors, four people were killed and tens injured.
Albania, one of the poorest European countries, aspires to the membership in the European Union. Last December Brussels granted its citizens a visa-free entry in the Schengen zone. But it has also made clear that without a significant improvement in the fight with the corruption further steps towards the membership in the European 27-bloc will be rather impossible.